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恭賀新禧 And The Moon

To observers in much of North America and East Asia, on January 31st, the second full moon of the...

De Haut En Bas

Recently, in the New Statesman, under the headline David Attenborough: Brexiteers “probably don’t...

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Rocket salad, enantiomers, and nomenclature

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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In the last few days, there has been a spate of reports that the incandescent bulb is on its way back.  This relates to work by a group of authors at MIT plus one at Purdue University in Indiana, featured in a news report from MIT:

A nanophotonic comeback for incandescent bulbs?

Many of us might look forward to this, having found compact fluorescent lamps troublesome, and LED lights a bit weird.

It relates to this very recent publication,:

The Ancient Greeks (Archimedes being an honourable exception) have a reputation for having been only interested in pure studies, and despising practical applications (which may well have helped the Romans take over.)

A day or two ago, local ITV featured a news item about a man who had kept the same plastic bulk issue shopping carrier bag for 34 years, using it from time to time.

The bag celebrated 50 years since the first Tesco store was opened in 1929, and he had acquired this one in 1981, the year of the first London Marathon.


We are often told how bad it is to keep sitting at the computer, but one good outcome at least is how some much interesting science news comes one’s way.  One item dated 19 October 2015 from Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands) states:

A storm has been brewing, over why in Britain women are more opposed to fracking than men.  Whether it is simply a storm in a teacup, or a mighty tornado, time will tell.  Here are three articles in succession, two from the Telegraph:

Women ‘don’t understand’ fracking, leading scientist claims

Averil Macdonald, chairwoman of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, says women lack scientific understanding so follow their ‘gut instinct’.

G.K.Chesterton (1874 – 1936) visited the United States twice, in 1921 and 1930.  I have recently been reading Sidelights on New London and Newer York and Other Essays, published in 1932 after his second visit.

One of the essays has particularly struck my attention: